A moral fable of great intensity and worthy of praise, however much plagiarism it involves. Without directly crediting its forerunner, a hundred and o...moreA moral fable of great intensity and worthy of praise, however much plagiarism it involves. Without directly crediting its forerunner, a hundred and one arabian nights, The Alchemist borrows the didactic plot of the shepherd in 'The Dream', who travels across the desert, only to realise the treasure he has been searching for is at home. This, perhaps picky, but highly relevant point aside I would not discourage the reader. I highly enjoyed The Alchemist and can see why Coelho has sold over 60 million books worldwide. They are easy to read, judging from the simple fable like language of The Alchemist, whose plot is simple, language is memorable and whose characters are few and well realised.
Speaking as someone who has struggled from depression and lack of direction i felt highly uplifted and positive after reading The Alchemist. Short at just 160 pages, the book can be tackled over a rainy afternoon at home or over a few toilet breaks at work. i'd recommend for budding travellers and those with spiritual interests outside the mainstream religions. The book's whole philosophy is that of the world as a collective subconscious whose inhabits experience life subconsciously and can communicate through the world language, that of feeling omens.
This is a book about seeking ones true destiny and how the world collaborates to help the true seeker on his way. Perhaps we should all give Coelho a shot, even if he is a plagiariser :P(less)
It has none of the cadence of poetry. None of its metre, no measured beats in weighted lines. It has no rhyme, and by any measure could not adequately...moreIt has none of the cadence of poetry. None of its metre, no measured beats in weighted lines. It has no rhyme, and by any measure could not adequately be described as a poem. It is prose, but as far from prosaic as it is possible to be. Each word in each line is the breath in the steady flux that is THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. Every line takes us onwards, out to sea, into desolation and discovery. Out from the shore and not looking back we read every touch of the poen as we read every stroke of the brush on a Turner sea-scape. From a distance. And then, so close we can almost smell the salt splashed against the bow of the rickety old boat. We are there, among the slices of simplicity; a moment, before, mere notes in a journal, now, perfectly art. No test is made and no patience wains in the mere 100 pages. In fact a new form of novella is born, a new way of seeing the world. Through the eyes of one, but then, another and then the beating of the heart begins. Every scratch from the tautened line cuts into the hand that holds the book, every twist and turn of the great fish levels all other thoughts to background noise. Perseverance, challenge, for what? Finishing the book, it could have gone on for 4000 pages, but it did not need to, the message is there for those who would dwell in such things. Mans greed, the futility of pursuit for material gains, the beauty of nature and mans relationship to it. We are travellers, the old man and i, the fish and the sea, together weaving a course into the unklnown, waiting for one to tire. Will is strong in this book, and again in the reader. Never have i read poetry so fine in art that could not be farther from poetry.(less)
A poignant evocation of a period and type of person now forgotten. It's quality is such that upon finishing it the reader would be hard put to stop hi...moreA poignant evocation of a period and type of person now forgotten. It's quality is such that upon finishing it the reader would be hard put to stop himself turning again to the first page and, upon re-seating himself comfotably again, with what seemed the 100th cup of tea, undertaking that pleasurable journey into the life and travels of the protagonist Ray. The works semi-autobiographical quality adds to the real quality of the prose, which Kerouac labells 'spontaneous prose'. Father of the beat generation he is but perhaps father to a new kind of thought. That of the Dharma bum, or searcher on the trail of true meaning, playing out the vicious karmic cycle of samsara (suffering) in this life of plenty and profligacy. The journey of Ray, hiking into the wild Sierra mountains and the far reaches of the country, is as much of a journey to the reader as the story's hero. It is hard not to value the morality, sagacity and resolve of this 'hero'. Could you give up your pursuit of material gains, with little but a pack full of basic necessities, food stuffs, and some well remembered thoughts and prayers, then onwards into the void ahead? This reviewer can honestly say that he would like to try, and would think it a great thing if more Dharma Bums could be found today. Buddhists or otherwise! I recommend this book to any avid traveller or vagabond. Anyone who finds himself lost amongst a crowd of people with whom he does not identify or even like. Life is a changing myriad of impressions and we merely catch the tail end of them on our day to day saunters. This book may make you stop and look, for the beauty of the world is everywhere... (less)